Abraham Lincoln was president the last time Baldwin City residents served in both the Kansas Senate and the House of Representatives.
That was 1863.
Then, Wilbur Woodworth was the Kansas Senator from the 9th District and John Vaughn was representative for the 37th House District.
When Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, won the a Senate seat and Democrat Tony Brown won a House seat on Nov. 4, they became the first Baldwin City duo to serve simultaneously in those positions in 145 years.
Holland asked state Sen. Anthony Hensley when was the last time that happened. He asked his secretary, Carolyn Campbell, who was just elected to the Kansas State Board of Education, to check with the Kansas State Library.
“I thought it was sort of unique,” Campbell said. She relayed the news to Holland and Brown.
“It’s nice to be a part of history,” said Brown. “For Tom and me, it’s satisfying because we’re friends and we both won our elections. I think it’s equally as important for the Baldwin City community because it has been so long since it has been represented in both the House and Senate.”
Holland said it wasn’t by plan.
“I think it’s an interesting coincidence, if nothing else,” he said. “I think it’s good for Baldwin City to have representatives in both chambers and we’ll do good things for the citizens of our districts.”
Another coincidence? President Lincoln was from Illinois, just like President-elect Barack Obama. At first blush, both Holland and Brown passed that oddity off.
“If there’s anything that’s a link, it seems like in both these eras it’s a time of great change,” said Brown. “I think future generations will look back at this election and think it was a landmark year.”